Pittsburgh Opera Opens 2016 with ‘Little Women’; First Performance at City for ‘Some Brighter Distance’ (Sat., 1/23/16)

Corrie Stallings is Jo in "Little Women" and she plays it big.

Corrie Stallings is Jo in “Little Women” and she plays it big.

1) The quest for women’s rights has been a long one, stretching back to the suffrage and social-reform movements of the 1800s. Pittsburgh Opera is staging a production that captures the emerging spirit of that time: Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel. The opera is a modern one, by Mark Adamo. It has been performed worldwide since its 1998 premiere and it is sung in English, with the text projected above the stage for extra clarity.

Little Women raises early feminist themes by telling a personal story laced with sharp humor. The heroine, Jo March, is a fiercely independent young woman who eventually settles in to marry and raise a family—but she does it on her own terms, choosing an unlikely husband while keeping her dreams of a broader career alive. Pittsburgh Opera has mezzo-soprano Corrie Stallings as Jo. 8 p.m. Performances through January 31. At the CAPA Theater, 111 9th St., Cultural District. (MV)

2) At the end of World War II, a U.S. intelligence program called Operation Paperclip tracked down large numbers of German scientists and engineers. In the Nazi regime they had built the V-2 rockets that were launched against London and other Allied cities. These men were brought to the United States, where they led the design of new American rockets—first for the country’s nuclear arsenal, then for the Apollo space flights. A new play about this strange turn of events is making its world premiere at City Theatre. Some Brighter Distance is by Keith Reddin, a playwright known for dealing with moral ironies and paradoxes. Here he focuses on the story of engineer Arthur Rudolph, who became a fervid American citizen and a director of the Apollo projects, but later was forced to leave the country when controversy arose over his possible connection to Nazi-era war crimes. Rudolph’s famous colleague Wernher Von Braun is also a character in Some Brighter Distance. 5:30 p.m. Continues through February 14. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. (MV)

3) Club Baja will be jamming tonight as the band Nightlife performs some groovalicious dance and funk hits. Songs from Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, and Rick James could be played! 9 p.m. 1366 Old Freeport Rd., O’Hara Township.

4) The Pens face off against the Vancouver Canucks in a 12:30 p.m. game this afternoon at the Consol Energy Center. The Pens next game is tomorrow night—in Washington, D.C.— versus the Capitals. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.


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Rick Handler

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